Penn makes La Porte pay for its mistakes
Updated: Aug 30, 2020
La PORTE -- Penn is good enough as it is. It doesn't need any help.
Just the same, the Kingsmen got plenty of it Friday at Kiwanis Field in the form of four La Porte turnovers, contributing to 21 first-half points that carried the Kingsmen to a 35-14 victory that wasn't as close as the score.
"You've got three swing plays in that football game," Slicers coach Jeremy Lowery said. "We knew, plan-wise, we had to be a little aggressive. We weren't going to get anywhere with these guys just laying up all night. At some point, we've got to push the issue. Did it put us behind the eight ball a couple times? Yeah, it did."
Sophomore RJ Anglin got a baptism by fire, drawing his first varsity start against one of the state's top programs, and went 3-of-6 for 32 yards with two interceptions and a fumble lost, but Lowery remained upbeat about him.
"He's a competitor," Lowery said of Anglin. "He stood in there, he didn't look like a deer in headlights. (The game) didn't look too big for him. You play a sophomore at that spot, going to get some of that. What's nice is he's got some big splash in him, too, which is what you're going to get as he plays more. He is the one (quarterback) we hadn't seen start a game yet. We really wanted to see that."
La Porte's Gabe Quinn closes in on
Penn quarterback Ron Powlus Jr. in
Friday's game at Kiwanis Field.
(Photo by Jay Anglin)
Penn jumped in front at 5:05 of the first quarter when an Anglin pass caromed off Evan Cisewski into the hands of Tye Zahner, who dashed 35 yards to the end zone. Four plays later, Josiah Williams separated Anglin from the football on a sack and Owen Wiseman's first of two fumble recoveries gave the Kingsmen the ball at the La Porte 32. Alec Hardrict scored from the 7 with 17.5 seconds left.
"We run a little vert slant and we don't put that ball away," Lowery said. "They got the big sack where we just look at it too long. We got talked out of our read by an alignment that shouldn't have fazed us."
La Porte (0-2) rolled the dice on its next series, going for it on fourth and 1 at its 25, but it came up snake eyes as Collin Bergquist was cut down in the backfield.
La Porte's Collin Bergquist is taken down by a Penn defender in Friday's game at Kiwanis Field. (Photo by Jay Anglin)
"Our slot back is supposed to insert," Lowery said. "If he inserts, the backside backer is blocked, it's a first down and I'm not so sure it isn't a heck of a lot more than that. It's the last guy left."
With quarterback Ron Powlus Jr. out of the game for a series, Penn went to the trick bag as receiver Nick Favilla flipped a 17-yard TD to Carson Mumaw. Anglin was picked off a second time two snaps later and that turned into a 1-yard Powlus-to-Mumaw scoring toss, making it 28-0 with 2:28 to go in the half.
"We took the ball away some, we scored on defense, we gave our offense a short field a couple times in the first half, which got us going," Penn coach Cory Yeoman said. "Anybody in there is going to be a player. There was a reason (Anglin) was starting tonight, he's pretty good."
Penn (1-1) rolled into the second half with a Powlus to Favilla connection that covered 60 yards, putting the game on a running clock at 35-0 in the first 20 seconds.
"It started with the protection," Yeoman said. "It was really good, Ron was seeing the field really well, and those guys were able to find some creases and bring some balls down. We took a step forward, offensively, defensively, special teams stuff. It's no surprise to me with Jeremy. His kids are going to keep fighting until the end. That's what they did."
La Porte posted its first points of the season when Bergquist surged in from the 1, punctuating his 116-yard night, at 7:34 of the fourth.
"Collin's a really good football player, a leader," Lowery said. "He's one of our most physical kids. He's worked hard, put in the time in the weight room. (The Wildcat set) gives those other 'Q's a chance to come over, take inventory of what's going on in the football game, where they're at, and it's another chance for me to talk to them. The silver lining is, (Jamaal) Salary's a really good back, so it gets another hard runner on the field. It's a nice wrinkle we can continue to build on. The big deal, in the meat of the game, was the fact we didn't get physically shoved around. That's always encouraging. You either have it or you don't, and I don't think we played real physical a week ago. I really liked how we stepped that part of our game up."
The Slicers blocked a punt on the ensuing Penn possession and Jack McGuire hit Cisewski for a 29-yard TD just inside the two-minute mark.
"Jack had a nice pass there," Lowery said. "Jack, RJ and (Robbie) Kiner, our quarterback room is a good room. Those guys really support each other. You should've seen them working the I pads on the sideline, helping each other out. It's a healthy competition. We talked about how you've got to survive their flurry. They went on their little flurry and got under our skin, but I like how our kids came to the half and regrouped and went back to work. It's good for the kids to experience some success and build some confidence."
Powlus finished an abbreviated outing a modest 5-of-8 but totaled 119 yards and three scores.
"He's a big, strong-armed quarterback," Lowery said. "He's a tenured kid, he's got talent. You put those things together with some weapons around him, we knew he was going to have his moments. They are the mold of what we want to be, from the time they get off bus to the time they get back on it. Those guys deserve the success they get. That's such a quality football team there and quality people who run it. (It's) mixed emotions. I love those guys. They're a huge part of my life. I'm not here today, I'm not the person I am if not for them, but you also want to get after them, give them your best shot and win, for respect."
Jayden Parkes of La Porte tries to get the edge as he is pursued by Seth Jankowski in Friday's game at Kiwanis Field. (Photo by Jay Anglin)
The early gauntlet continues for La Porte next Friday, when it hosts Valparaiso, a 17-16 winner over Penn in week one.
"We talk a lot about no excuses, no complaining, and, sure as heck, no blaming," Lowery said. "That will kill every team. We've got to stay focused on that. We can't blink. We've got too much improvement to do to waste time worrying about spilled milk. We improved this week. We're not into moral victories, but we have something to build on. We've just got to be more consistent. That's the name of the game."
Penn 35, La Porte 14
Penn 14 14 7 0 -- 35
La Porte 0 0 0 14 -- 14
P -- Tye Zahner 35 INT return (Braden Primrose kick), 5:05
P -- Alex Hardrict 7 run (Primrose kick), 0:17.5
P -- Nick Favilla 17 pass to Carson Mumaw (Primrose kick), 8:17
P -- Ron Powlus Jr 1 pass to Mumaw (Primrose kick), 2:28
P -- Powlus 60 pass to Favilla (Primrose kick), 11:43
LP -- Collin Bergquist 1 run (Javier Robles kick), 7:34
LP -- Jack McGuire 29 pass to Evan Cisewski (Robles kick), 1:58
Team Statistics First downs: Penn 10, La Porte 10
Rushes-Yards: Penn 30-112, La Porte 36-147
Passing: Penn 7-11-0-145, La Porte 4-7-2-61
Totals Yards: Penn 257, La Porte 208
Penalties-Yards: Penn 4-30, La Porte 4-38
Fumbles-Lost: Penn 0-0, La Porte 3-2
Punts-Avg.: Penn 0-0, La Porte 0-0
Rushing: Penn, Hardrict 20-82, Hunter Mrozinski 8-29, Powlus Jr. 2-1. La Porte, Bergquist 25-116, Jayden Parkes 4-10, Jeremiah Ruiz 3-6, RJ Anglin 1-(-4).
Passing: Penn, Powlus Jr. 5-8-0-119, Favilla 1-1-0-17, Ryan Buckley 1-2-0-9. La Porte, Anglin 3-6-2-32, McGuire 1-1-0-29.
Receiving: Penn, Favilla 2-73, Mumaw 4-63, Ben Fox 1-9. La Porte, Evan Cisewski 1-29, Ruiz, 1-18, Grant Ott-Large 2-14.
Interceptions: Penn, Zahner, Seth Jankowski.
Fumble Recoveries: Penn, Owen Wiseman 2.
Records: Penn 1-1, La Porte 0-2.
Next: Penn vs. Indianapolis Cathedral; La Porte vs. Valparaiso
Jeremiah Ruiz of La Porte looks for running room against Penn's defense in Friday's game at Kiwanis Field. (Photo by Jay Anglin)